North Korea Secretly Worked On Invincible And Other Shows, New Report Reveals Shocking Evidence

By TeeJay Small | Published

According to a shocking news report from CNN, a number of animation studios based in the United States may have outsourced their work to North Korean laborers. North Korea seems to have ties to Amazon Prime Video’s Invincible and a wide array of other animated ventures, such as the upcoming Max original series Iyanu: Child of Wonder. Evidence of this alleged outsourcing comes from a massive server discovery by US analysts, which uncovers a wide array of documents outlining the technical animation specs.

North Korean Animators

According to the report, the studios involved with these shows likely had no prior knowledge that North Korean animators were drafting scenes for Invincible and others. Instead, evidence seems to point to a convoluted scheme put in place by North Koreans throughout the isolated nation and China, which seeks to bolster the DPRK’s struggling economy. North Korea is heavily sanctioned by the United States, meaning companies that did business with animators within the hermit nation may have accidentally violated international law.

Invincible Sketches Found On A Server

The server breach that uncovered the North Korean work on Invincible was headed by a Boston-based civilian named Nick Roy, who frequently cracks North Korean cyber-security on a lark. While surfing the net, Roy discovered a site that contained animation sketches, style guides, and drawing instructions translated from Chinese into Korean, including characters from the Invincible series. Roy first made his discovery in December 2023 before forwarding his findings over to the Stimson Center, which continued pulling on this thread to reveal additional information.

Chinese Involvement

dark matter

The discovery suggests that American studios such as Skybound Entertainment outsourced animation work to Chinese companies. The Chinese companies then subbed out a portion of their work to North Korean professionals, including a number of scenes and production stills from Invincible. While Skybound has several affiliates throughout Asia, reps from the company maintain that they did not seek or receive any work from North Korean workers, as stated in a statement made on social media.

The American government has not named any Chinese companies involved in this alleged scheme as of now, though such companies would surely become the subject of an international investigation if these allegations are true. Of course, if Skybound reps are telling the truth, and no North Korean work was done on Invincible at any stage of production, there may be another explanation.

Complex Situation With No Clear Answers

North Korea has been known to offer thinly veiled plagiarism of Western art within its isolated country rather than free internet access to allow its citizens to browse international art freely. It is theoretically possible that North Korean hackers were simply using the production designs to launch their own iteration of Invincible within the nation with a staunch anti-American message.

However, this seems unlikely, as the instructions for animating to Skybound’s liking were translated from Chinese into Korean throughout the documents. American analysts have also considered the possibility that Skybound sought to contract a Chinese company for this animation work, only to be duped into hiring a fake animation firm run by North Korean hackers obfuscating their identity. The FBI has so far refused to offer a direct comment regarding North Korea’s alleged inclusion in crafting Invincible, though some assume that the revenue generated through this work could be responsible for funding weapons testing in the communist nation.